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Full text of "A Thru-hiker's Guide to the Massachusetts Midstate Trail"

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The Midstate Trail runs 92 miles through 
Worcester County, Massachusetts. 

Yellow triangles mark the trail. A map and 
compass are important for safety, but you won't 
need them to follow the trail. 

The north end of the trail is on the New 
Hampshire border in Ashburnham, MA. The 
north part of the Midstate Trail overlaps with 
the south part of the Wapack Trail, which runs 
north into New Hampshire for 19 miles. 

The south end of the trail is on the Rhode 
Island border in Douglas, MA. It connects to 
the Rhode Island North-South Trail, which 
runs south 75 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Getting to the north end of the trail: Start at 
the parking lot for Watatic Mountain, on Route 
119 in Ashburnham, MA, just west of the 
intersection with Route 101. The Midstate 
Trail runs about 2.5 miles north to the New 
Hampshire border, passing over Watatic 
Mountain. If you don't feel like hiking up the 
mountain twice, blue triangles mark a cut-off 
trail. Using the cut-off and part of the Midstate 
Trail, it is only 1.1 miles from 119 to NH. 

Getting to the south end of the trail: On 
Southwest Main Street in Douglas, MA, almost 
at the Connecticut border, there is a gated road 
leading southeast and marked "19." Hike down 
this road as it turns into a trail, ignoring side 
paths and roads. In less than half a mile you 
will intersect the Midstate Trail, and see the 
H Irst of its yellow triangles. Heading 
southbound, it is less than a mile to Rhode 
Island and the start of the trail. 

For more information about the Massachusetts 
Midstate Trail, contact the Midstate Trail 
Committee at 508.797.9744 or They publish the H !ne 
Massachusetts Midstate Trail Guide, which has all 
the maps you need for the trail. 

The following usgs quads cover the trail south to 
north: Uxbridge, Webster, Worcester South, 
Worcester North, North Brookfield, Barre, Sterling, 
Fitchburg, Ashburnham. 

This guide is not published or endorsed by the 
Midstate Trail Committee. Please send comments, 
suggestions, and additions to: 

"Nameless Mike" Benedetti 

52 Mason Street 

Worcester MA 01610 


This guide is licensed under the Creative Commons 
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. To 
view a copy of this license, visit 
or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan 
Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA. 

An electronic copy of this guide is at 

Thanks to the Switchback Posse. 

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to the 





Revised September 26, 2005 

New Hampshire 

Watatic Mountain 


Muddy Pond Shelter 


convenience store/ / wachusett Mountain 
pay campground 

Bar re 


Moose Hill Shelter 



5 miles 
I 1 

Crow Hills 


Buck Hill Shelter 

Spencer/ \ Leicester y 

French River 




long roadwalk 


Douglas Forest Shelter 

Rhode Island 

Camping: The greatest challenge to thru-hiking the 
Midstate Trail is the lack of established campsites. 
Although there are 3~!ve shelters, they are not spaced 
evenly — according to the Midstate Trail Guide, there is a 
37-mile gap between Douglas Forest Shelter and Moose 
Hill Shelter, and a 35-mile gap between Long Pond Shelter 
and Muddy Pond Shelter. Hiking shelter-to-shelter is 
possible, but grueling. 

The shelters are wooden, three-sided structures. There 
are no outhouses at the shelters. 

Most of the shelters are open to hikers. To use Muddy 
Pond Shelter, call the Westminster Conservation 
Commission: 978.874.0863. To use Long Pond Shelter, 
call Bill Pula at the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation 
and Recreation: 413.323.6921 . 

Except where the trail is on roads, the area alongside 
the trail is mostly undeveloped and suitable for camping — 
with the permission of the land owner or manager. 

Some maps show a campground on the trail at Wee 
Laddie Pond. This is now a private, fenced-in facility. 

Terrain: The trail winds through swamps, suburbs, 
woods, and mountains. In late spring and summer, it is 
quite buggy. 

The trail crosses many clear brooks and streams, and at 
least one spring. Some of the water sources flow through 
populated areas or farms. All water should be purified. 

The highest point on the trail is the summit of 
Wachusett Mountain. Some of the finest views on the trail 
are from Watatic Mountain and the Crow Hills. 

Mileage table: Mileages in the table were calculated by 
rolling a wheeled map measurer on the maps in the 2002 
Midstate Trail Guide. Some trail relocations are included. 
Distances are approximate, and may be outdated. The 
length of the trail is given as 92 miles in the Midstate 
Trail Guide. 

South North 

0.0 MA/NH border 88.3 

1.4 Watatic Mountain (1832') 86.9 

2.2 Route 119 86.1 

8.9 Route 12. Ashburnham center is 79.4 
1.2 miles west. Convenience 
store, pay phone, restaurants. 

11.3 Muddy Pond Shelter. Nice 77.0 

23.4 Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. 64.9 
Ask for water. 

25.5 Wachusett Mountain (2006') 62.8 

34.4 Route 68 & East Branch Ware 53.9 

River. Convenience store, no 
phone. Pout & Trout 
Campground (508.886.6677, 
$18-20 per campsite) is 1.0 
mile north on River Road. 


Barre Falls Dam 



Long Pond Shelter. Piped spring 
near trail 0.2 miles south. 



Buck Hill Shelter. No water. 



Moose Hill Shelter. Stagnant 



French River footbridge 



Route 12. Oxford center is 1.1 



miles south. Large pharmacy, 
pay phone, restaurants. If you're 
going into Oxford, taking 
Sutton and Lovett saves 1.7 mi. 

Douglas Forest Shelter down 
side trail. No water. 

88.3 MA/RI border